Twenty of the Best Bargains of My Life

Twenty of the best bargains of my lifeI’ve always been an avid shopper – starting at the age of ten. My mom and sister and I would go to the big department stores in downtown Pittsburgh and split up and meet in a few hours. The stores were close together, but in between them, I discovered a used book store. What a treat! They had shelf after shelf of paperback books for an incredibly low price; the only catch was, for some reason they had to remove the book’s front cover. No big deal; the rest of the book was there!

Over the years, I’ve discovered yard sales and thrift stores — fabulous places to find bargains, in addition to great sales at discount and department stores. And I’m so grateful for all the wonderful, low-cost things I’ve found!

I’ll never forget some of the best bargains of my life – and what I paid for them:

1) A set of matching end tables for $2 each, bought from a yard sale and used in my living room during most of the years my son was growing up

2) A beautiful cherry wood octagonal end table – bought for $25 at a yard sale — which is still in my living room. My friend, who was with me when I bought it, was mortified. I had been laid off and told the seller about my plight, asking if he’d come down in price to $25. His advice to me was to get a job in a prison – which is where he worked – but I did walk away with the end table. (And MEK keeps asking me when I’m going to apply for a prison job…)

3) Framed printNumerous framed prints (see tips in my blog post on how you can save a ton of money on framed prints, too). Have never paid more than $15 each for any of them.

4) Jewelry – necklaces, bracelets and earrings. My favorite story about bargain jewelry is when my friend C and I went to a yard sale and I showed her this thick, gold necklace that I loved. Then she bought it! I was a little miffed because she’d never done anything like that before, but I found out why she did it on Christmas when I opened my present from her — and there it was.

5) My solid wood living room coffee table, bought for $20. Wood coffee table

6) A ton of some of my very favorite clothes and shoes. Need a separate blog post for those!

7) Wedding reception items. I planned and coordinated my son’s wedding and bought all the glassware for the reception at yard sales and thrift stores. Got boxes of bar quality drinking glasses, lots of beautiful glass serving dishes, vases, decorations and more. For details, see my ebook “How to Have a $30,000 Wedding for Less Than $10,000” on amazon.com.

8) Lawn equipment, including a $2 Scott spreader, a $10 machine that rolls across the lawn and picks up leaves in a canvas sack, an inexpensive blower, a couple edgers and a FREE push lawn mower.

9) IMG_0293Many lamps for less than $5 each. Attractive lamps bought from a yard sale or thrift store cost way less than a single lampshade bought at a “regular” store!

10) Scrapbooking supplies. Have had the good fortune to go to yard sales of women who were getting out of the Creative Memories home consultant/party business and bought their remaining inventories for a song.

11) Piano sheet music. Got a big box full for $1.

12) Shower curtains. Bought at least three of them – one beige, one pink, one yellow – in perfect condition for $2 each, and later saw one just like the pink one in Target selling for $24.98 (see photo above).

13) A sturdy Good Wood kitchen table and six chairs for $50. The top was a little marred, but I put cute tablecloths on it and nobody knows the difference.Good Wood kitchen table

14) Suitcases. Have bought several nothing-wrong-with-them rolling suitcases – all for less than $10 each.

15) IMG_0289Chest of drawers (formerly a diaper-changing unit) for $20.

16) A file cabinet in excellent condition for $15.

17) Several carpet runners for $5 each. IMG_0290

18) A sturdy TV stand ($15), about five bookcases and a couple wooden wardrobes (none for more than $10 each).

19) Books – hundred of them. At $1 for hardbacks and $.50 for paperbacks, that was a huge savings, since I’m an avid reader!

20) Porch furniture. Bought a white rattan chair ($10) and a brown rattan loveseat and table for $25.

As you see, there’s almost nothing you can’t get at a great price if you’re willing to get out there and look for treasures!

Related blog posts:

Thrift Store Treasures #1

Thrift Store Treasures #2: Bare Traps Sandals — Love Them!

Thrift Store Treasures #3

Thrift Store Treasures #4

Thrift Store Treasures #5

Thrift Store Treasures #6

Thrift Store Treasures #7

Thrift Store Treasures #8

How to Get the Best Price Ever on Cottonelle TP

Save Money by Doing Your Own Pest Control

Easy Ways to Save Money

Make an Inexpensive Christmas Gift for Less Than $5

Money Saving Christmas Gift Idea #2 – Zip it Drain Cleaner

Money Saving Christmas Gift Idea #1 – Extend Your Beauty Tool

You Can Make Someone You Love the Best Gift Ever — at No Cost

Cute Halloween Window Decorations for Only $1

I Adore the Dollar Store

How to Add a Low-Cost Reading Rack to a Treadmill to Make Walking More Fun

Decorating Your Home with Extremely Low Cost Framed Prints – Part #2

How to Decorate Your Home with Extremely Low-Cost Framed Prints

Zip It Drain Cleaner – a Product to Love

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36 Responses to Twenty of the Best Bargains of My Life

  1. Laurel Regan says:

    Inspirational post! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Kathy says:

    I love yard sales and often stop on the weekends . Great post and thanks for sharing

  3. Life Breath Present says:

    So much on this list! Makes me want to go out hunting for great finds….soon, I tell myself, soon 🙂

  4. Tshanina says:

    You’ve definitely found a lot of treasures! Another great place I like to look is Craigslist!

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  6. Such a inspiring post! =)
    I enjoy watching Antiques Roadshow, you never know what you “will find”!
    I’m a new follower from “Wow Me Wednesday”!

  7. Thanks for sharing @ TTF!! 🙂

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  20. Irene says:

    Bought a hardback book for my husband and when he opened it there was $1700 inside.
    We returned it to the sale and got a thank you note with a reward, from the elderly owner who forgot what she had done with the $..There was no way we would have kept it, we wondered if it was for the “tax bill” or “house payment” etc.
    This was the best garage sale find, with a very happy outcome.

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  31. mandy cat says:

    I’m a big fan of buying shower curtains just for the fabric. The standard size is 72 x 72″, which is a lot of material and these days they come in a variety of attractive (non-plastic) colors and prints. My best deal was when some manufacturer wildly overestimated consumer demand for shower curtains labeled “Dry Clean Only.” After I stopped giggling, I scooped up three that wound up as a table topper, sofa cushions and a dining table runner.

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